During an unveiling ceremony held in Tehran, Iran, Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami proudly unveiled their new Masaf assault rifle. The new rifle is chambered in 7.62x51mm and intended for longer range engagements for both night and day operations.
Iran Minister of Defense Unveils New 7.62×51 Masaf Assault Rifle
The new Masaf rifle is intended to be used with a thermal sight that is presumably issued with the rifle. However, from what can be seen during the promotion unveiling video, it seems that the rifle is meant to be issued with an optic, as well as some sort of IR laser unit.
In the promotional video, several shooters demonstrated the capabilities of the rifle including full water submersion and subsequent firing, a generous covering from a fire extinguisher, and a complete mud submersion test (all of the accessories were removed for these tests).
اسلحه مصاف جدید(مربوط به وزارت دفاع)با کالیبر 7.62
این ویدئوی تستش هست pic.twitter.com/eHuknEbgQ7
— pezhmanDoosti(دنیا خیلی بی ارزشه) (@PezhmanDoosti) March 7, 2021
The adoption of a NATO standard cartridge may come as a surprise for a new Iranian-made rifle but Iran does make heavy use of H&K G3 rifles and was more or less heavily equipped with western arms and ammunition during the bulk of the 20th century. The release of the 7.62x51mm Masaf comes just 4 years after the release of their 5.56 version of the MASAF which was very similar to an H&K 416 rifle. It seems the Iranian small arms industry is still experiencing a bit of a boom.
During the ceremony, the defense minister also introduced a few new Iranian-produced shotguns, as well as two new air rifles. General Hatami also stated at the ceremony that 9 new military planes and 10 helicopters would be added to the Iranian Armed Forces inventory boasting that sanctions and restrictions would not defeat Iran. This is a big shift away from Iran largely importing many of its weapons and equipment and instead relying on more domestically produced items.